- large island in the Indian Ocean, off the SE coast of Africa
- country comprising this island and nearby islands: discovered by the Portuguese (1500), it became a French protectorate (1895) & colony (1896), & a republic (Malagasy Republic) of the French Community; it became fully independent (1960); since 1975, the Democratic Republic of Madagascar: 226,657 sq mi (587,040 sq km); cap. Antananarivo
An island country in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of Africa. It was peopled by Indonesian and African groups by the end of the sixth century BC. The French first established settlements on the island in 1642 and made it a colony in 1896. The country gained full independence as the Malagasy Republic in 1960 and was renamed Madagascar in 1975. Antananarivo is the capital and the largest city.